Austin, Texas is the home to the annual Austin City Limits (ACL) Music Festival. 2006 celebrates the festival’s fifth birthday of the festival sharing the name of the popular PBS show Austin City Limits. Zilker Park plays the gracious host to a weekend dedicated to music, art, food, and all around good times. One of the biggest and best celebrations of musical talent and diversity has three days of music on eight stages and 130 bands.
Due to ACL taking place in September in Texas, the heat gets as much mention as the music, art, and food. That being said, yes, it was sweltering on Friday, but there was some cloud coverage giving a few welcomed breaks from the sun throughout the day. Since ACL helped Zilker Park get a new sprinkler so the grass is healthy this year, preventing the horrible dust problem from 2005. Another trend to help beat the heat in 2006 is more misting and water stations along with more tents covering various booths.
And if you’re like me, you will go to a concert and totally love it only to forget what was played when you get home. This year, Austin City Limits Music Festival has the answer to the age-old question of how to remember the set list. All you have to do is text setlist and your email to 56658 and you will get an email with a link to ACL setlists. Go on, give it a try.
Getting to the festival seems the easiest part. There is the free shuttle from downtown, you can walk, or even hail a cab. As the night progressed, the crowd got thicker and thicker as more people filed into the park. After walking around finding the Heineken stage, which is past the BMI stage next to the main festival entrance, I was ready to see Ray LaMontagne. I was supposed to see him during South by Southwest a couple of years ago, but he ‘got sick’ and was unable to show up. It seems every time I am set up to see the man play, something happens and he is a no show. Luckily for me, Ray LaMontagne was at ACL in his full glory. The crowd gathered around his stage was so large, I wondered how so many people had heard of him. The man is great, don’t get me wrong, but he only has two albums out and the second of which was just released in August.